Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday that should couldn’t “think of anything dumber” than allowing Congress to authorize war, seemingly unaware that the U.S. Constitution specifically gives the legislative branch that exact power.
Ahead of Thursday’s House vote on a war powers resolution aimed at limiting President Donald Trump’s military actions against Iran, Sanders—now a Fox News contributor—appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the president’s handling of the Iran crisis.
“Sarah, the president yesterday said the U.S. is ready to embrace peace,” Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said, referencing Trump’s speech on Wednesday. “He's calling for more economic sanctions on Iran’s already struggling economy. He did say that Iran is standing down, so why is the House putting up this resolution to try to limit the president's powers?”
“You know, I can’t think of anything dumber than allowing Congress to take over our foreign policy,” Sanders huffed. “They can’t seem to manage to get much of anything done. I think the last thing we want to do is push powers into Congress’ hands and take them away from the president.”
She went on to claim that Democrats who don’t seem to understand “that America is safer now” that former Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani is dead are “completely naive,” adding that she doesn't want to see them “take power away from President Trump and put it into their own hands.”
“I don’t think anything could be worse for America than that,” she concluded.
Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, meanwhile, specifically states that Congress has the power “to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water, to raise and support armies and... to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.”
Furthermore, the War Powers Act of 1973, which Congress is looking to pass a resolution reaffirming this week, asserts that only Congress can declare war and the president needs to seek Congress’s approval in the case of sustained military action. The act was passed in the shadow of the Vietnam War in an effort to prevent other drawn-out overseas wars.